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Clause 94 - Making of order

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 8:55 am on 6th December 2001.

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Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office) 8:55 am, 6th December 2001

I think that that is right. The hon. Gentleman is a lawyer, and although I know a lot about the Scotland Act 1998 and my Department is responsible for it, to be absolutely sure, I will check.

I say to both hon. Gentlemen that we are discussing new matters. We have not had a devolved legislature like the Scottish Parliament in mainland Great Britain for 300 years. In fact, there has been nothing like it before, because the previous legislature was somewhat different—[Interruption.] It was not democratic, either. We are establishing precedents and have to be careful and thoughtful about them. While maintaining the rights and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament, we must also think of the practicalities of considering legislation in Parliament, and in Committee in particular, when a Sewel motion is passed. I think that we have got the balance right, and that the Scottish Ministers' judgment is right. They considered the matter carefully and thought that we were moving in the right direction. They thought that there was no need to consult the Scottish Parliament.